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Western Heritage Classic Ranch Teams

2020 Western Heritage Classic Ranch Teams

Green Land & Cattle Co.

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Established in 1892 Albany, Texas

In the 1870’s, Thomas Henry Green, Confederate veteran from Hill County, Texas, was in the horse business, running his stock on the open range of West Central Texas. Later on, the open range was being fenced, and a herd of mares, colts and geldings belonging to him were located in western Stephens County on Hubbard Creek. He sent his young son, William Henry, a recent graduate of Trinity University, up the Texas Central Railroad to Albany, with instructions to locate, gather and sell the horses and return to Hill County with the proceeds. Henry did everything his father told him except return to Hill County. He was so impressed with the Hubbard Creek country that he used the money received from the sale of the horses to lease and later purchase what was the beginning of the Green Ranches.

As the years passed, he was able to acquire additional ranch land, which was fortunate, because all four of his children became ranchers. Today, Henry Green’s grandchildren have ranches in Stephens, Shackelford, Oldham, Archer and Wichita counties, owning and controlling over 90,000 acres. Grandson Billy Green from Albany, as well as great grandson Rex Green from Vega, are on the rodeo team.

When Henry Green first acquired a herd of cattle branded “J” on the left hip, he adopted that brand. Today, the Green Ranch runs Hereford and black baldy cows plus yearlings as well as a broodmare band to furnish replacement horses for their ranching operation.

Green Land & Cattle have won a total of 2 Ranch Rodeo's (2011 and 2016) and have been a Western Heritage Classic Contestant since 1985.

Ranch Team Members (Coming Soon)

Guitar Ranches

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Established in 1906 Abilene, Texas

The Guitar Ranches were started by John Guitar, Sr. He was born in
Carrollton, Missouri in 1866. In 1890 he moved to Abilene, Texas and entered into the cotton business. He purchased the Big Spring ranch in 1906 and then
purchased the Dell City ranch in 1927. He owned several ranches in the Carlsbad, New Mexico area which he operated in the 1920’s. In 1934, he purchased the Colbert Ranch at Spur, Texas. He owned numerous farms in West Texas.

John’s youngest son, Earl, also ranched in the Abilene area. Earl and his wife, Anita owned and operated the Grissom Ranch east of Abilene where they raised registered Hereford cattle. Earl’s son, Phil, now operates the Grissom Ranch and other ranches where he and his wife, Jane, run a commercial Angus cow/calf operation. They maintain approximately 1,000 cows and run calves on a
pre-conditioning plan. Jane also owns the Martin Ranch between Hamlin and Aspermont. Their children, Philip and Catherine, are involved in the ranching business.

Jane and Phil have been dedicated Western Heritage volunteers for many years.

Guitar Ranches has won a total of 3 Ranch Rodeo's (2002, 2003 and 2017) and have been a Western Heritage Classic Contestant since 1985.

Team Captain: Phil Guitar
Team Members: Cody Aaron, Frank Bautista, Waylon Davis, Skylier Sandridge,
Jimbo Humphreys and Laramy Richardson.

Haythorn Land & Cattle Co.

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Established in 1884 Arthur, Nebraska

Located in the Sandhills of Nebraska, the Haythorn Land & Cattle Co. claims a unique and colorful history. Founder Harry Haythornthwaite was a lovelorn 16-year-old from England who, after being discovered as a stowaway, was put to work tending white-faced bulls being shipped to Galveston, Texas. For eight years, Harry, worked as a cowhand making trail drives to Kansas and Nebraska and was drawn to the vastness of the Great Plains, deciding to stay. He opened a livery barn, shortened his name to Haythorn and married Emma Gilpin.
In 1884, Harry filed a land grant to begin the Haythorn Ranches, spreading over two counties, and purchased 500 head of horses, trailed back to Nebraska from Baker, Oregon. In the 1940s, Harry’s son, Walt, purchased “Sport” the first registered quarter horse in Nebraska, who went on to produce exceptional mares. Haythorn crossed these mares with the original “Eddie” with great success and since, the ranch received the inaugural Best of the Remuda by AQHA in 1992 and has added bloodlines that include PlayGun, Metallic Cat and Haidas Little Pep.

Present day manager, Craig Haythorn, a 4th generation of Haythorns, manages this historic ranch with his wife Jody, as well as 5th generation sons, Sage, his wife Kelley, and Cord and his wife, Katie, preserving cowboy traditions in an ever-changing and increasingly challenging industry. A 6th generation, Steel Daniel Haythorn, was born on Christmas Day 2015.

Haythorn Land & Cattle Co. have won a total of 7 Ranch Rodeo's (1988, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2005, 2008 and 2014) and have been a Western Heritage Classic Contestant since 1988.

Team Captain: Craig Haythorn
Team Members: Ridge Evans, Cord Haythorn, Sage Haythorn, Cody Wallin and Wade Speck.

Matthews/Nail Ranch

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Matthews Established in 1900
Nail Established in 1880
Albany, Texas

The Matthews Ranch and Nail Ranch join forces once again, as members
from both ranching operations form a team for the Ranch Rodeo.

J.A. Matthews Ranch - The Matthews family came to the Clear Fork area in 1858. Ranching history was made on Christmas Day in 1875 when Sallie Reynolds married John Alexander Matthews. It was the first of many partnerships between the two Texas pioneer families. In 1885 John Alexander and Sallie Matthews registered the famous “open A, lazy V” brand that remains the ranch brand today. Today the ranch is run as a cow-calf
operation at the Lambshead Ranch on the Clear Fork of the Brazos north of Albany.
Herefords are crossed with Angus, Brangus, or Longhorn bulls and more than 40 working horses and chuck wagon mules round out the livestock population at the ranch.

NAIL RANCH - James Henry Nail Sr. started running cattle in 1880 across the Red River in Indian Territory with other cattlemen, such as Dan Waggoner and Burke Burnett. As the family business grew, Jim’s brother, William Champman “Buck” brought cattle to
Shackelford and established the Buck Nail Ranch. Impressed with Buck’s enthusiasm for the grassland around Albany, sister Matilda Nail Cook and Jim Nail Sr. purchased the
Holstein Ranch and Dobbs farm northwest of Albany, naming it the “Cook Ranch.”
Afterwards, sister Rebecca Nail Davis brought the Coates ranch west of Albany, naming it the “Merrick Davis Ranch.” A few years later, Jim Nail Sr. sold his interest in the Cook Ranch to his sister and brother-in-law. He purchased almost 100 sections from the Monroe Cattle Company. Jim then made the old headquarters on Foyle Creek his headquarters of the “9” Ranch known today as “The Nail.” By the early 1900’s there were four ranches in Shackelford County owned by “Nail’s.” Youngest brother Robert Nail Sr. operated the bank in Albany. The Ranch today operates under two entities with a strong cow/calf
operation numbering over 3,000 mother cows. The ranch also has a strong horse operation. The fourth generation now operates the running of the ranch, with Jack Henry Nail
starting the fifth generation of the family ranchers.

Matthews/Nail Ranch have been a Western Heritage Classic Contestant since 1988.

Team Members (Coming Soon)

Muleshoe Ranch

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Established in 1900 Gail, Texas

W.K. Johnson, Sr. started the Muleshoe brand when he bought the Blackwater division of the XIT Ranch on the Blackwater draw about 1900. Later, the Santa Fe Railroad built a road from Lubbock to Clovis, NM that ran through the middle of the ranch known as the Muleshoe Ranch. By that time Mr. Johnson had sold the ranch to E.K. Warren and son from Three Oaks, Michigan. Warren gave one section for a town site when the railroad was built. This town was named Muleshoe and still goes by that name.
When Mr. Johnson sold the ranch, he maintained the Muleshoe brand. Around 1908, Mr. Johnson and Mr. R.M. Clayton formed a partnership and leased a large body of land east, north and west of what is now Post, Texas. C.W. Post owned this land. When Mr. Post started developing this land, selling it to the farmers, the Clayton and Johnson Co. bought a ranch in Borden Co. in 1913 and continued using the Muleshoe brand.
What is now the Muleshoe Ranch was originally open grazing and was used by the Magnola Land and Cattle Co. prior to 1894. Sometime between 1900 and 1910 Mr. Abney, who later sold to J.D. Milton of Virginia, put the ranch together. Clayton and Johnson Co. bought the land from Mr. Milton on Aug. 25, 1913. In 1945 Mr. Jerry Clayton, one of R.M. Clayton’s sons, bought the Muleshoe Ranch from another son, A.M. Clayton. In 1957, Jerry Clayton sold the ranch to his daughters, Jere Hubbard and Barbara Anderson. In 1994 Rich and Barbara became sole owners of the ranch.
The Muleshoe has been a family operation from the get go, with 5 generations having lived on the ranch and 4 currently living on it. Rich and Barbara’s son John runs the ranch with his wife Kevva. Clay John, their son and his wife Krista live and work on the ranch with their two daughters. Middle sibling, Whitney, and her husband Kye Fuston work on the Matador Ranch in Matador, TX. Finally, youngest daughter, Bailey, works for the ranch and lives in Borden County with her husband Jake Halverson.

Pitchfork Land Cattle & Company

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Pitchfork Land & Cattle Co.
Guthrie, Texas
Founded: 1883
Boyhood friends from Mississippi, Eugene Williams, a sales manager for the St. Louis based Hamilton Brown Shoe Co. and D.B. Gardner, a Texas surveyor, established the Pitchfork Ranch in 1870. D.B. Gardner purchased cattle from South Texas to begin the ranch. The herd already wore the Pitchfork brand so he simply named the ranch after the brand.
In 1883, the ranch was incorporated, with the principal stockholders being the Williams family in St. Louis. Gardner managed the ranch until his death in 1928. Although it has grown larger and more prosperous, the Pitchfork has not lost the spirit of friendship and trust that Gardner and Williams brought to it. Only six managers have managed the Pitchfork Ranch since Mr. Gardner, the present being Ron Lane.
The home ranch stretching across 165,000 acres of central west Texas is located80 miles east of Lubbock along a 14-mile stretch of Highway 82. The ranch is located in Dickens and King counties, in addition to 3,000 acres in Benjamin, Texas, and 3,300 in the Flint Hills of Kansas. The Williams family descendants continue to operate the 122-year old ranch in the same conservative manner as their founders with an emphasis on friendship and hospitality.
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